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The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) recognized legendary game developer Gunpei Yokoi for the innovative work he produced during his career. Yokoi was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony on March 6, 2003 during the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Jose, California.

In a career spanning nearly three decades, Yokoi is best known as the creator of the Nintendo Game Boy. Overwhelmingly popular since its launch, the Game Boy and its successors have sold more than 142 million units worldwide. During his early years at Nintendo, Yokoi led the company's entry into the video game space, creating the Game & Watch -- a credit card-sized video game that introduced the cross-shaped directional pad. He went on to collaborate with Shigeru Miyamoto to design arcade classics such as "Donkey Kong," "Mario Brothers," and "Metroid."

In 1996, Yokoi founded Koto Laboratory, while continuing to consult for Nintendo. Tragically, Yokoi was killed in a traffic accident the following year. "Gunpei Yokoi is the forefather of the portable video game industry," said Jason Della Rocca, program director, IGDA. "His innovation and creativity are sorely missed in our community. We're proud to recognize Yokoi-san and his work with the Lifetime Achievement Award."

Last year's recipient, Yuji Naka, presented the award, which Yokoi's family accepted on his behalf. "To have a life's work recognized by other game creators is the most meaningful honor one could receive," said Yuji Naka, President of Sega's Sonic Team.

March 7, 2003

Release - International Game Developers Association


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